Are the councilors in your city doing their jobs on issues that affect you and your fellow citizens? In Muntinlupa City, the City Council and its members really worked as they pressed water concessionaire Maynilad for answers in a public hearing that happened very recently, according to a Manila Bulletin news report.
To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Manila Bulletin report. Some parts in boldface…
The Muntinlupa City Council held a public hearing on Tuesday, Feb. 8, to investigate the severe water service interruption being experienced by customers of Maynilad Water Services in Muntinlupa and other cities and municipalities.
The City Council’s Committee on Environment, chaired by Councilor Marissa Rongavilla, conducted the hearing attended by Vice Mayor Artemio Simundac, Majority Floor Leader Raul Corro, other councilors, Maynilad representatives, affected customers and Chief Regulator Patrick Lester Ty, head of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System Regulatory Office (MWSS-RO).
The MWSS-RO is a government agency tasked to ensure that the provisions of the concession agreement between MWSS and Maynilad are followed.
Maynilad customers in Muntinlupa started experiencing the water supply interruption last December. The water company cited the algal bloom and turbidity of raw water in the Laguna Lake as the reasons that affected the water production at its two Putatan Water Treatment Plants in the city.
Based on Maynilad’s latest advisory, the water supply interruption will last until Feb. 15.
Thousands of Muntinlupa customers of Maynilad have been experiencing no water supply for up to 17 hours a day. They have complained that water supply resumes at midnight, forcing them to stay up late so they can store water.
Rongavilla said the main problem of Maynilad customers are the water quantity and water quality. Customers have complained that they are getting brown water from their faucets, which is unusable for drinking or cooking.
She asked Maynilad to clearly explain to the public the solutions to the water supply problem in Muntinlupa.
MWSS-RO has been investigating the water service interruption problem of Maynilad. MWSS-RO chief Ty said they will come up with their findings this month.
“MWSS-RO is looking out for the interest of the public. We are here to ensure that the public is protected,” said Ty.
He said there are options for MWSS-RO to penalize Maynilad. He said it can be a simple warning, disallowing the company’s expenses, or order Maynilad to give a rebate to its customers.
Last November, MWSS-RO penalized Maynilad and ordered it to rebate customers in Las Pinas.
Corro told Manila Bulletin that “we will await the investigation report of MWSS-RO Chief Regulator Patrick Lester Ty who promised to release it this February.”
“In the public hearing, we relayed the demand of the unsatisfied Maynilad customers to either declare a payment holiday or reduce the monthly bills or declare a rebate and impose penalties in accordance with the concession agreement due to lack of water supply (frequent water service interruptions) and due to poor quality of water (brownish color),” he said.
“We also asked Maynilad to ensure that the Feb. 15 deadline it has announced to resume normal supply of water shall be done and that in case they cannot comply, penalties should be imposed by MWSS-RO and that they will increase their number of water tank trucks from the present 29 to supply water in the affected areas,” added Corro.
He said, “We also put on record that the people of Muntinlupa who are customers of Maynilad are very unsatisfied with their service and consider Maynilad’s reasons for the frequent WSI as ‘unacceptable’ considering that they have been operating the Putatan Water Treatment Plant for more than a decade already.”
Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a Muntinlupa City resident or if you manage a business within the city, what can you say about this latest local development? How was the quantity and quality of water you received from Maynilad this past week? If your access to water was interrupted, how bad was it? Do you think that Maynilad is hiding something?
You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.
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